South Korea raised its alert to the “highest level” as COVID-19 confirmed cases surged.
President Moon Jae-in made a statement recently, announcing that the country is facing a “grave turning point” and they are now about to face the most crucial battle to contain the epidemic.
Eight people have died from the disease while the number of infections is now up to 830.
Around 140 new cases were found in and near Daegu, where they have recorded the most number of infections in the country.
Five of those who succumbed were linked to a hospital in Cheongdo, near Daegu, where most of the infected were patients in a psychiatric ward.
Officials are hopeful that they could contain the epidemic in the region, although experts have pointed out signs that the virus has already circulated around the country.
The experts noted a number of cases in the country’s capital, Seoul, and reminded that the disease is not immediately traceable.
According to South Korean vice health minister Kim Gang-lip, “In Daegu, the number of new cases that are being confirmed by tests is quite large, and if we fail to effectively stem community transmissions in this area, there would be a large possibility (that the illness) spreads nationwide.”
He also shared the health officials’ plain to identify Daegu’s residents who exhibits cold-like symptoms, and have all of them tested for the infection.
They are also screening around 9,000 followers of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus in the city, where a 60-year-old woman attended two worship services before testing positive for COVID-19.
Meanwhile, a hundreds of people were filmed as they patiently wait in line to buy facemasks in Daegu.
A supermarket in Daegu had faced long lines of people whose only wish is to protect themselves against the spread of the infection.